ERIC Number: ED414013
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr-6
Dating as a Social Activity: The Importance of Peers.
Van Horn, M. Lee; Dowdy, Bonnie B.; Embow, Allison K.
This study focused on peer influences on dating, assessing the impact of peer attitudes about dating on the individual's affiliative system and examining the relationship between problem behavior and dating experiences. The study's final goal was to assess the relationship between the importance of affiliative activities and the extent of dating. Data were collected from 398 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders by means of a pencil and paper questionnaire; a subset of eighth graders completed a second questionnaire and had a personal interview. One key component was linking respondents to the responses of their peers. Participants listed their five best friends in school; peer network data were thereby available for 67 percent of respondents. Results showed that: (1) the importance of affiliate behavior as reported by peers is related to the adolescent's reported importance of affiliative behaviors; (2) that while problem behavior is related to initiation into dating, peers' reports of problem behavior are not related to the adolescent's dating experience; and (3) that formation of a romantic view (comprised mostly of affiliative behaviors during early dating) and the onset and frequency of dating are independent of each other. (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (62nd, Washington, DC, April 3-6, 1997).